Friday, March 21, 2014

The Woman in the Dunes

The Woman in the Dunes is a 1964 Japanese film based on the book by Kobo Abe. Hiroshi Teshigahara directs. He was nominated for an Oscar for best director but lost to Robert Wise (The Sound of Music). It stars Eiji Okada (Hiroshima mon amour) and Kyōko Kishida. This film won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes. This is a fascinating movie -thought-provoking. It's a picture of people trapped in a life, in this case physically trapped, and what their different responses are. It's a beautiful film to watch. Sand doesn't often receive such careful visual treatment. The sound track by legendary composer Toru Takemitsu is the perfect complement to the picture.

Time Out calls it "a tour de force of visual style, and a knockout as an unusually cruel thriller". Chicago Reader says it's "A bizarre film, distinguished ... by Teshigahara's arresting visual style of extreme depth of focus, immaculate detail, and graceful eroticism." Roger Ebert has it on his list of "Great Movies" and says, "Unlike some parables that are powerful the first time but merely pious when revisited, "Woman in the Dunes” retains its power because it is a perfect union of subject, style and idea." It has a critics rating of 100% at Rotten Tomatoes.

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